In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
I have carefully read many of the arguments for Brexit and personally spoken to two of the chief proponents of this idea online. In fact, with one of them I had a long detailed conversation about the pros and cons of his paper.
Let me be clear, whether Britain Brexits or remains, both options are unpalatable for Muslims in Britain. The only option for us is to choose the option which does us least harm.
This myth has been debunked many times, unfortunately some of our Muslim colleagues continue to peddle it.
ECB (European Central Bank) enforces Interest rates on Europe. It is also responsible for strict economic enforcements and austerity on the Eurozone.
Britain is not part of Eurozone and our Austerity has been inflicted upon us by our “elected representatives”.
If Britain decides to stay in Europe, it will not change.
In simple words, when you shop for potatoes at ASDA you are paying in British Sterling Pounds and you will continue to pay in British Sterling Pounds.
Hijab is not banned in Europe either by a treaty or Regulation but individual states and employers can prohibit all religious, politics and philosophical symbols. This was enforced by G4S on an employee “Samira Achbita” and she went to court. The court has not yet ruled but Advocate General Juliane Kokott issued a (non-binding opinion) against her and in favour of G4S.
If Britain decides to leave Europe (this week) it is still possible for a company to ban all religious, politics and philosophical symbols from its premises in UK and the court can uphold the appeal or strike it down.
David Cameron has already indicated his opinion that Burqa (face veils) should be banned.
I am saying two things:
There is no European directive at this time. This is an emotive issue (and rightly so for us) but whether you Brexit or Remain get ready to fight your legal cases.
Staying in Europe will not make much legal difference to us either way. It will neither protect us nor support us when (and if this issue goes to court in UK).
I have personally been to Palestine and I have seen EU checks on Israeli check posts and Palestinians have told me that European Intervention has been positive (to some extent) in their lives. With the existing EU policy on “Palestine”. Spain (have others) have gone ahead in forging some ties with the Palestinian Authority and there has been no EU repercussions.
France (Orange) is still in the process of contemplating cutting its ties with its Israeli partner and there has been no “European Legal challenge”.
If Britain decides to leave Europe (this week) would British Policy change for the better for Palestine? Heck no! It hasn’t changed much in 70 years so what makes us think that Britain will become “Pro-Palestine” after Brexit?
On either side of the referendum it doesn’t really make much of a difference on the issue of Palestine. In fact the legal challenge to BDS is in UK courts under UK legislation.
EU is under the pump on the Turkish question. There is no doubt that Europe has right-wing, fascist and Islamophobic tendencies and will try their best to not let “Muslim Turkey” into EU.
But it’s the elephant in the room, they can’t ignore an economic powerhouse on their borders, they can’t deal with ISIS/Middle-East or the Refugees without Turkey. Concessions will need to be given to Turkey which doesn’t need EU but EU needs it.
Entry of Turkey into EU or even concessions will be a dynamic positive change for Muslims.
Mufti Ismail Syed (Brexit backer) also added text around Turkey in his article towards the bottom.
Why does that matter to you as a Muslim?
If Britain loses access to the European single Market it will affect Muslims economically. It will take years to forge an alliance (like Norway) and treaties will need to be enacted. Uncertainty will have a negative impact on many businesses.
You don’t have to be a genius to see this coming.
This is a blog and I can give you a million footnotes and links but the upshot is that if Britain Brexits there won’t be much policy change for Muslims for the better.
Brexit will strengthen the hands of right wing racist fascists in Britain. Scotland which is right now the bastion of left-wing opinion will likely leave the union. You will be left with England and Wales but clear, visible signs of fascism on the streets.
Britain will NOT Brexit because most people will get cold feet and will not vote in favour of this choice.
Feel free to comment and throw my Kashf back in 3-4 days.
Addendum: Face veils (Niqab) is already banned at Bradford Teaching Hospital (since 2013) in UK and the matter has nothing to do with EU Policy.